Saturday, 31 March 2012

The 1% club

The calm of Rock HQ this morning was in complete contrast to last nights adventures. In the time it took to fetch a bucket of water to Kayleigh, walk back to the water trough and refill the bucket ready for morning, Iggle who had just munched through her late evening rations before quaffing down a couple of litres of ice cold spring water dropped on the straw a massively large but exceptionally dead boar piglet.
My beautiful and oh so patient wife was quicker off the mark than I was and she got to the pregnant porkers side first perched on the magic blue bucket (the one with allure) wearing wicket keepers gloves ready for piglet number two, which if anything like Mangalitza piglet births are expelled at high velocity. I, being totally practical and knowing the torch would fade to black within ten minutes abused Hazel and got her up the slope and into the Corral OK where here lights set the stage for the main show.
We waited. And waited. And then some.
Half an hour had passed, Iggle was pushing, not very well, but trying and achieving nothing. Not sure if the James Herriot books actually covered pig midwifery but assuming it had to be pretty much like sheep but with sharper teeth and less wool I put a tentative hand inside Iggles bits. A head, jaw, sharp pointy teeth, another large piglet, she pushed and I pulled and out popped an equally big piglet, not nearly so dead, a girl, but she soon gave up any attempt to stay around and be future sausages. Things were not looking great and then got a whole lot worse when piglet the third started coming out arse end first. No real problem, Google how to be birth partner to a saw and it will tell you that 40% of piglets come out rear end first and that only 1% of sows require help. Knowing full well which statistic now lay heaving at our knees we clung on to the hope that Iggle would keep calm and carry on. No such luck. Minutes became hours, she walked around, squatted, played on the big inflatable ball, we offered her a curry, all to no avail. I rather rudely copped a feel around inside and could not move piglet, I knew the theory, get the legs facing back but after half an hour of furtling around the three of us, me, Iggle and potential offspring made no progress. After an hour and a half the vet was called. Paul who was disappointed to miss the birth of Kobe the calf now had an opportunity to make up for it by helping Iggle. By the time he got here piglet had been stuck for two hours and Iggle was falling asleep. Under the headlights he set about trying to free the piglet. Hope was fading, the likelihood was that this and any remaining offspring would be still born. Fifteen minutes and a lot of grunting, not all from the pig, Paul told us he had got one leg forward, another five and the second leg, time slowed as he matched a heave to Iggles push and another large piglet joined us. It lay on the floor with the three of us watching for vital signs. It sneezed, coughed, rolled around and sprang to its feet. Not what any of us was expecting (its now called Gloria, as in I will survive) but it lifted the mood and pretty soon three more sows, all born head first, were clambering around the sty demanding breakfast.

His work done Paul had a quick look at Kobe, complimented Rock HQ on its fertility and left. I stayed in the pen until 3am as Iggle refused to sleep, being a bit sore she was still thinking that she had other piglets to come. We knew different. Finally she gave in, not before squishing a piglet but as I was there all was well.
Today the lack of sleep caught up with us all, Iggle has managed not to crush any piglets and they are a healthy happy bunch.
Thankfully the threat of rain all day was an ideal excuse not to concrete, instead we spent time playing with little t, trying to work out how to get Hazel back off the Corral OK, watching piglets and stroking the calf. There are too many time wasting opportunities here now.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Its so easy

Well as its so easy another huge bale of straw was disassembled and bagged up ready for use. It only took 30 minutes so it does seem to be a cheaper alternative to the square bales.

The 30 30 challenge was completed, no fanfares, no standing ovations, just the soundtrack to Gladiator as I cycled the 380something km without actually getting anywhere. So day 30 30 30 lvl 12 hill 12.8km (Gladiator soundtrack)

Trying to think of another 30 30 to do for April, but for now I'm having a couple of days off.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Meat Kobe

The big lummox has survived his first 24 hours, first kick from mum that sent him sprawling across the floor (but being a brave lad he got up and came back for more) and his first frost. Morning saw us geared up for a bovine bondage session to ensure Hetty stood still long enough for junior to get breakfast. As it was his first moo opened Hetty's motherly floodgate and she has fed, cleaned, stood over her charge and all is well in our world.

Junior now has a fitting name, we asked, we received, thanks Kit, the big lad is called Kobe, for obvious reasons!

Day29 30 30 lvl 10 outdoor training 11.2km (One way ticket to hell and back, The Darkness)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

It all happens here

While some urgent repairs were being done to the roof of Rock HQ to make it a bit more weather proof or rather water proof Iggle really did look like she would beat Hetty to it in the birth race

After a night of us hanging over the stable door and bleary eyed three hourly checks all Hetty had managed was a monster number two which she took care of for a few hours.

Then, taking a leaf out of Iggles book she threw herself down and pretended to sleep. As today was D-Day (Delivery Day) the vets were called and within 10 minutes the stable was transformed into an operating theatre. The two builders, both called Steve, but that was confusing so we called one Colin, found their escape route was blocked by several cars and so they were press ganged into being theatre staff, Colin helping me at the business end while Steve held onto the rope holding Hetty's head around the corner and out of sight of the bloodfest indoors.

The vet proved to be camera shy but once she was up to her elbows in bovine innards managed to be snapped plucking a hoof from the visceral debris

and soon our long awaited and very expensive calf was spluttering to life on the straw. The only beef that is more expensive is that Japanese stuff.

Quicker than the vet could sew up its mother the monster calf was upright and searching for food which it failed to find in Colin's crotch but it gave us all a giggle while the vet ( a really nice lady called Caroline) re plumbed Hetty.

Finally stitched back together (and cow hide is really tough so the needle work took a while) Hetty was released from her tethers and clumsily struggled to her feet and junior took its first feed. At this point in time BST Midnight junior is alive and mother is kicking every time he tries to feed. We are hoping this settles down but if she continues I shall break out the body armour (last used to milk the Old English Goats) and get him his breakfast lunch and dinner by hand.

Thanks to all those who made today such an interesting and joyful event. A name will be chosen for junior once we have thought of a good one. Suggestions please.

Day 28 30 30 lvl 12 hill 13.2 km (2112, Rush)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Gardener's world

For all those who have emailed asking for more piglet pictures here you go.

The downstairs shower/toilet/wetroom has been out of action for a couple of days, not through any incompetence of mine in the plumbing department but due to a songbird. Cosmo one of the vermin cats brought in a thrush Sunday night. Goodness only knows where he caught the poor thing in the dark, probably it was roosting somewhere stupid and Cosmo found it. Usually when a bird is "rescued" from the cat it dies (bird not cat) so we didn't hold out much hope as we shut the door and wished it luck (bird not cat)

Come Monday morning the bird was perched defiantly on the bog roll, one leg twisted back at a painful angle, broken, its wing and tail missing feathers. Birdy was now a problem, shower was off limits while we considered where/when/if/how to release it. It further compounded the problem by singing its heart out and then most surprisingly laying a perfectly beautiful blue egg. Then it died. This morning. The debate over what shall we do with the egg and the pros and cons of incubating it, who would fetch the necessary number of worms and mince them, syringe them into the chick, teach it to fly, keep the cats off it was wasted when I dropped the egg on the worktop smashing it. Half a thought of scraping it up and frying it was dumped when the second half of the thought led to me being arrested for some breach of some conservation order or something similar and so the dog had it.

Longer evenings and an office only ten minutes drive from home meant home in time to do some hard core gardening. The tyres generously donated are being put to use, finally, and a jolly hour or so was spent in the sunshine sorting them into threes for planters. Sorting out three tyres the same size was not as easy as I first thought, each had a weird algebraic code on the side which those in the know would be able to decipher into radius, width and speed rating. I'm not sure what speed rating is needed for lambs lettuce but the variety of widths and radius was boggling. The roughly sorted threes were then carried over two fences and a pig pen, Guinevere had to inspect each one for food and each one had to jettison a gallon of water over me as I maneuvered them into position. Some semblance of order was achieved and now there are 12 planters waiting to be filled with compost. And we have about 100 tons of that but at the other end of the smallholding. A man test with the wheelbarrow beckons.

Meanwhile Hetty has been gritting her teeth and making the right noises but showing nothing for her efforts.

Day 27 30 30 lvl 12 outdoor training 13.3 km (Fugazi, Marillion)

Monday, 26 March 2012

Mercury Rising

Its unseasonably warm, t shirt weather. Blue sky, birds singing, its a joy to be outside. The majority of my day was spent indoors, in Court with winners and non winners, the PC term for those that didn't win. We were on the winning team again.
The critters are enjoying the weather as much as we are, Mindy has been turned out with Daffodil for her first taste of grass

and the piglets are all surviving the accident waiting to happen as mum rolls over and back again. Meanwhile they excel in cuteness.

Hetty has still not produced anything worth photographing.

Day 26 30 30 lvl 12 endurance hill 12 km (Roots, Show of Hands)

An important question answered

How much fun can you have with a ham sandwich?


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Pig of a day...or Rocky saves the bacon

As predicted, and lets face it it was an easy prediction, today did not pan out as planned. Aside from the fact that Hetty steadfastly refuses to jettison her cargo, lots of huffing and puffing but no beef. As we were due to head up north to visit my folks an executive decision was made that I would go with little t, have a nice lunch and head back by tea time, my beautiful and oh so patient wife meanwhile would have manned the fort and if needed played midwife to the lazy bovine. Tracey also drew the short straw and did the night shift checking on the cow as I had a long drive, it was tough but I managed to sleep soundly ready for mine and the apprentice smallholders road trip.

Dawn broke, an hour sooner than yesterday thanks to the clocks re setting to summer time and the morning routine got muddled through. Now I have to be honest at this point as I shut the cottage door behind me and took the first breath of the morning air. I did think, everso briefly that Tracey might like to do the morning routine while I drove off for a free lunch. Being the gentleman and knowing the pain that would be inflicted if I suggested the same I fetched and carried rations to beasts.

While I was feeding the sheep, pigs and sheep-pigs Rocky stood pointer style looking into the pig pen. Eventually even yours truly took the hint that something had got the super canines attention. I stood behind him and followed his gaze. My first thought was several swearwords and look at the size of that rat! Followed by (once the how do I kill it with a bucket of feed whimsy evaporated) its not a rat its a bird its a mangy rabbit its a piglet. Oh my God its a piglet! Then, how on earth is there a piglet here, now. Yes the Bershires Guinevere and Morgana are supposed to be pregnant but not due til May time. The Mangalitzas had only just got acquainted with Thor. I looked across at the Berkshires chomping through breakfast, Morgana had blood on her and a stretched moneybox (moneybox is the pig equivalent of a sheeps tuppence) she was a mum. Trouble was she had obviously forgotten.

So to cut several hours of drama, building, disappointing my parents, chasing pigs up and down the lane into a few lines, eventually a makeshift pig pen was made out of pallets, string, some four inch screws and hope. By 4pm all piglets were feeding and mum was lying down. Unfortunately the last pic shows a piglet behind mum and she squished it just after, so we are down to seven Berkalitza piglets, all fantastically marked cute non pets.

So current scores are Quail 2 (one died) Pigs 7 and Cow 0. We are expecting more effort from cow but the pigs are going to win as at least two others are pregnant.

All this meant that I had to apologise to Thor, who's sexuality I questioned given his fixation on boy ponies. He is it seems the SAS of the pig world, able to get in and out without anyone noticing.

Day 25 30 30 lvl 12 outdoor training 13.2 km (American Idiot, Green Day)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Not as planned

Not everyday at Rock HQ goes as planned. Today for example I planned an early start and when I woke up the second time somehow two hours had passed from the alarm going off and that set the tone for the day.
Major task of the day was to lay a concrete pad for the aviary, for some reason since moving to this green and pleasant land I am possessed with a desire to concrete great swathes of it. This was supposed to have been done by around mid afternoon. By mid afternoon none had been done due a combination of me getting distracted by a full cooked English, then baking some cakes (its three of our dogs third birthday) turning the horses out onto Oak Bank and the field yonder, refereeing a fight between the horses, fetching a horse shoe from the fence after owne of shoe got caught showing off, cutting the toe nails of the agoraphobic goat (coaxing same goat out into the sunshine took almost as long) replacing and repairing the pipework to the pig pen as some naughty Berkshires chewed the pipe, refilling water tanks thanks to massive leak caused by holes in pipe, issuing life jackets to Mangalitza pigs flooded by burst pipe (ever get the feeling the Berkshires did this on purpose?) so by 2pm the site pegged out for the aviary was the only sign of progress and once various bits of scrap metal and a broken toilet had been placed where concrete was about to be laid I assembled George, threw the switch and shovelled.

At this point I checked Hetty who was lying on her side puffing and panting in the centre of a massive nest she had just built, bound to be giving birth, I mean its not as if I was busy or anything.

George was deactivated, the mix used to fill a supermassive blackhole of a pot hole in the drive, and I got the hot water and towels and waited. By 4pm I decided I did have time to go and buy some essential feed supplies from the farmers supermarket and get them to swap my wellies with holes in the sole for a better version. This was prevented by the Technohermit arriving and wanting to chat.

11.15 pm End of play, no calf and no concrete. Not the most productive of days but a lovely sunny one. Tomorrow should go as planned. Or not.

Day 24 30 30 lvl 12 hill climb 12.4 km (Live at the Budokan, Cheap Trick)

Friday, 23 March 2012

Score so far

Quail 3

Hetty 0

Piggle 0

Quail equals a one in eight hatch rate which isn't very high, we had hoped 1 in 4. Hetty is leaking milk everywhere, as in all over the floor not out of her ears, so calf must be imminent. Piggle looks like she will explode but is hanging on, pretty certain she is pregnant but it could all be a ruse to get softer beds, extra feed and lots of ear scratching.

Missed yesterdays listing of the 30 30 so day 22 30 30 lvl 14 hill 13.6 km (Fear of a blank planet, Porcupine Tree)

Day 23 30 30 lvl 12 hill 12.5 km (Best of OMD, OMD)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Its starting

Its been a gloriously sunny day again, work got in the way of some of it but I did manage a quick (my quick) circuit of the Bonsai Mountain in daylight. Visits out to the realm of Red Kite meant that the evening routine was done in the dark but as the clocks go forward this weekend this might be the last time. Mind you milking goats at half ten is probably always going to be in the dark unless we move to Scotland.
So in the glow cast by the anti aircraft light Hetty was moved from the med bay to the front stable that was housing the three massive little pigs, they are now in the med bay. Both species are awaiting life changing events. Piggle looks like she is about to burst but has remained intact. Hetty has started producing milk, so the next 24 hours may mean new life arrives naturally or via the skill of a very busy vet. New life has arrived today, one of the giant quails eggs has hatched, others are making promising noises.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Lifes a beach

If there was a genie in the lamp the one wish I would really want granted is that Rock HQ would have a coast, and that would mean sea, and seafood. The fresh sort, the walk down to beach and forage/catch sort. Still, cant have everything and plans are afoot to go on an exped in the furthest westerly region of the Red Kite empire with an expert fisher type. Meantime at least we have a replica beach for the apprentice smallholder to play in.
So while one of us busts a gut on the exercise bike doing the 30 30 challenge, one of us gets to play and eat sand.

Life's a beach!

Day 21 30 30 lvl 12 outdoor training 12.6 km (S and M, Metallica Disc 2)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Growing pains

The Pgoor struck again and this time all five equines bolted as soon as the gate swung open. Having limited imagination they headed off up into the cauldron and then on up the flank of the bonsai mountain where they frolicked in the spring sunshine and nibbled at the grass while congratulating themself on how clever they were. Had they thought a bit more about what they were up to they could have hotwired Vic and headed off to the coast, gone for a canter along the beach before eating litres of rum and raisin and posing for tourists in kiss me quick hats.

This predictable simpleness made my task on return from a mad day at the office an easy one as they were loitering just where I thought they would be and they meekly followed the magic red bucket back to base (the blue one having lost its allure) where they hung around like naughty school children. Suitably chastised the badly behaved equines went to bed without a murmur of protest. Chester did try and provoke a rebellion but his was quashed mercilessly by my feeding his co conspirators as he hung around at the end of the lane hoping they would join him. Eventually he got the message that access to calories lay inside his stable and not in playing silly buggers so he gave in and went to bed to sulk.

The pictures show pretty boy Apollo the day after he arrived at Rock HQ three and a half years ago, the second one as he is today. He's put on a bit of weight!

Dy 20 30 30 lvl 12 hill 13.6km (S and M, Metallica Disc 1)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Flames of wrath

There can't be many more stomach churning thoughts as you crest the brow of the final hill on your drive home from work than thinking your house, and all you love, is on fire. This thought was mine as I looked over my right shoulder towards Rock HQ. A huge pall of smoke rising from where I was heading. Surely not, but Hazels speed increased as the last mile progressed, so did my view of the inferno, massive flames rising, it must be the stables. Had I not had to do an emergency stop at the top of the lane because of this little sheep lying dead on the track I might have thought I had hit her in my haste to get home. But no, it seems another reckless motorbike has ripped through our world killing Bella. In the yard my beautiful and oh so patient wife was stood watching the smoke blowing our way. My pulse settled a bit but I realised I was shaking as I got out of the car, a mixture of adrenaline and relief. Our patch, aside from Bella, was intact. Concerned neighbours and observers from across the valley phoned the fire brigade. They duly arrived closely followed by the police. Steve the electrician phoned to see if we were ok, and to tell Tracey that I was heading up the track at turbo speed. Its good to know people care enough to check on us. Pity no one saw who killed Bella.

The fire was another gorse clearance by the militia, they should if they do it properly warn all concerned first. As it was less that 50 yards from our stable it would seem only courteous.

Day 19 30 30 level 10 sprint 14 km (Rumours, Fleetwood Mac)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mothers Day

While the apprentice smallholder made his mothers heart melt by giving her his efforts with blue paint on canvas, several cd's that the cd police are not allowed to confiscate and some chocolates, yours truly was faced with a mad cow making funny noises and looking at me funny. So part of the day was spent moving critters around in the hope that a new configuration would ease the housing shortage for mothers to be. Matters became critical mid morning when Piggle started to build a nest and any idea that she might only be faking pregnancy in order to avoid Mr Whirlpool were dismissed as she has now, along with her sister Iggle achieved the hallowed accolade of pet status, meaning I cannot eat her and I need to find her somewhere to live. Fast.

So, Daffodil was taken along with Mindy from the med bay which also houses the straw in large white bags, and put in what was the old rabbit run but was more lately the goat house (Big rabbits or small goats, you decide) All animals were given a generous bedding allowance which emptied two white bags, the remaining two were placed up on the bank on pallets double wrapped to prevent wetness. This meant Hetty could go into the med bay which really pleased Kayleigh who until today had been forced to double up with Hetty as Hetty kept jumping out of the Corral OK.

After a lovely Sunday lunch with my beautiful and oh so patient wife's mum and brother where little t demonstrated his newly acquired skill with a spoon, I got back on with the new order.
Iggle and Piggle were separated from the three little (massive) pigs (without us spending hours running up and down the lane shouting at naughty porkers who wouldnt go where they were supposed to be, honest) and put in a purpose built substantially reinforced pig pen off the Corral OK where they soon made them self at home in the deep straw bed and we will have to wait and see what, if anything, happens there.
Today's jobs have only bought us some breathing space, we still need more space, or rather the space taken up by the three not so little pigs. This may be resolved by next weekend. By which time there are bound to be new critters here.

Day 18 30 30 lvl 15 endurance hill 21.6km (Buckcherry, Buckcherry)

Yes 21.6km a personal best.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The quick and the dead

It might just be me, but this must be the only country where , as you go about your lawful business, in this case stopping your mad cow hassling walkers (she jumped out and was keen to share their picnic, the fact that they were carrying it in their rucksacks and didn't want to share with a mental bovine was beside the point) that you can observe a large body of armed men suddenly silhouetted against the skyline and advance purposefully towards you and not feel like your world is about to end, take cover and hope that either they pass peacefully or that they don't find you to discuss their political or religious views.

So there I was, unarmed aside from a Nikon and a large number of dogs, and there up on the Bonsai Mountain were at least half a platoon of camouflaged gun toting men advancing on our house. The dogs being the brave sort sought shelter behind me, I stood and watched what was going on. A red streak went left to right, a gun was pointed in its direction, I did clench slightly as its direction was me, the red streak disappeared into the gorse over the brow, two shots, a wave and the men walked on. I did the same, towards the shots as this was home.

A man who looked like a mercenary was stood in our lane, he looked like an extra from Full Metal Jacket who had had a fight with a pirate, all camo, gold teeth and earrings, rifle cradled across his chest.

He pointed to the fence line, a dead adult fox.

"Theres two more up behind the house in that gully bit" pointing over his shoulder with a gloved thumb. He turned and began walking after the others, "We got four so far, this hills crawling with them, don't normally come out this far, we'll be back" and off he went into the sunset. (really he did)

So our birds can sleep safely, or a bit more safely, four less foxes (at least) one was probably the culprit who took a hen this week, in broad daylight. Perhaps two of them were the ones play fighting by our sheep two weeks ago, either way I'm glad they are gone. We are, to say the least, over run by Mr Fox.

Day 17 30 30 lvl 12 outdoor training 13.1km (Jazz, Queen)


This little chap has been helping make things, paint things and write things for tomorrow. Say helped he ate most, wore most and tore most but its the thought that counts. Tired him out for a while anyway.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mad cow

Hetty is close to giving birth, one way or another, so we are trying to follow advice from the vet, difficult when those tasked to help keel over laughing when we explain how our mad cow arrived at this predicament. Case in point. Vet asks us to prepare birth area, must be large enough for three grown men (well two at this point being vet and yours truly) to wrestle cow should need arise. Must have lighting in case it happens during hours of darkness, hard floor and two metal fixings on opposite walls at knee height in case cows front needs anchoring and winch needs attaching to other end to heave calf out. What we don't have is ropes. Off to farmers supermarket to buy necessary cordage.

Shop floor mercifully empty.

Ring bell.

Old farmer type appears as if by magic.

So do other customers.

"Can I have a set of calf ropes please"

"Speak up son"

"Can I have a set of calf ropes please" slightly louder hoping wont be questioned as to what they are, size, colour, god knows what else all I want is a rope isn't it?

Farmer behind taps me on the shoulder "Calfing are yer"

"Erm, not personally no, but yes thanks" (acutely aware now going to get the inquisition, my fault for messing with the big boys)

"I got out of cattle"

I nod and look at farmershopkeeper hoping he will bugger off and get the rope.

"You got cows then?"

(Oh no, here we go) "Yes..."

"I got a cow crate I can sell yer, don't have much use for it now, handy for calfing" he leers

"Thanks but we've only got the one...." At this point all real farmers sniff and shake their heads.



"Pet is she?"

"Sort of....."

"Got a pretty name as she?"

"Hetty" Someone sniggered at the back

"Jersey is she, good looking..." Definite guffaws.

"No mid legged Dexter" I drew breath looking for the exit, I could see where this was going.

"Ropes for a Dexter?" he said rubbing the stubble on his nose thoughtfully.

"Yes, she got out with a bull we didn't want her to and now shes about to give birth I need the ropes the vet said" I gabbled by way of explanation and in a vain hope of salvaging some credibility.

There was a silence. The farmer grinned and slapped me on the shoulder in a friendly manner (the type of grizzley bear slap friendly) "Don't you worry me lad, she'll be alright, so long as she ain't got in with anything like a Belgian Blue!"

All present bust a gut laughing at this hilarious thought.

I left them too it.

I'll try a different supplier.

Maybe ebay.

Day 16 30 30 lvl 12 gradual hil 13.4km (Fallen, Evenesence)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A willing victim

Vic and I set forth and travelled far too many miles again today. At one of my calls there was a delicious smell of home baking and what looked like an an accident in Mr Kipling factory across the numerous kitchen surfaces. The creator of the wonderful smell and culinary carnage waved a spatula at me and asked if I wanted to try a chocolate eclair. As the utensil waver was already a known quantity when it came to all things patisserie and was practicing her skills for a national competition I felt compelled to agree to be the latest guinea pig. A bowl with the most amazing chocolate/pastry/cream/praline creation was duly handed to me with the reassurance that it was totally calorie free. It was, without doubt, the best eclair I have ever eaten and who would have thought such a sweet treat was non fattening!

The logo at the top of the latest poster from Red Kite really means something!

Day 15 30 30 lvl 12 hill 10.8km (Ten Thousand Fists, Disturbed)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fairy lights and happy pigs

The fog refused to shift, day three now, we know the world is out there, we just cant see it. Fetching pig feed was incident free save for the clumsy loader nearly knocking Trixie over, then almost putting the forklift forks through the side before finally dropping the pallet with 750kgs of supplies just short of the back axle making the journey home with the trailer hitch trying to point skywards an exercise in vehicle mishandling. Luckily I could communicate all sudden directional changes (both intentional and unintentional) by use of the pretty lights hanging on the back courtesy of the local pound shop who stock trailer boards. This high tech bit of kit expertly screwed into place by yours truly was probably a life saver in the fog, and as the less than expert forklift driver said "It'll keep the pigs happy" Now I'm not sure if the pigs will be happy that the trailer is now legal and super roadworthy and its almost a moot point because if all goes well they wont need to be transported in the trailer to make the trip to Mr Whirlpool, the freezer, as an assassin is supposed to visit Rock HQ very soon. Admittedly this is the third assassin we have booked, but as the saying goes "If at first you don't succeed you can always use the trailer".

Day 14 30 30 lvl 12 hill 11km (Cheap Trick, Cheap Trick)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

All gone

The weathers playing games, the weekend was blazing sunshine and 18 degrees, last two days has been foggy, today temperatures barely getting into double figures. The fog today was the really wet heavy stuff, soaking everything, almost rain but not quite and it didn't lift at all. This left me with a dilemma, the last of the pig feed was distributed amongst the trainee rashers, once again I was to make the journey with Trixie to get a load of feed. Whilst this load is definitely the last load that at least three of the pigs enjoy (mind you I have said that about the previous two loads) the thought of driving towing Trixie in a regular pea souper with no lights was at best illegal, at worst suicidal. The lights are in several pieces after some shitlands used them as bum scratchers.

I took a chance the last time with one half of one light missing, now all four are missing so no brake lights, lights or indicators. New plan, go to work, buy a trailer back board light thingamy at lunchtime, skive off early and fetch feed. Good plan. Epic fail. Lack of colleagues meant I had to stay at work actually working, chizz chizz, and then I forgot to get the trailer board (for once my beautiful and oh so patient wife's logic deserted her as she told me not to worry I could buy one from the farmers superstore where I collecting the feed from. How do I get there oh patient one I enquired. Oh yes you need the trailer board...I knew better than to gloat)and anyway the fog got worse and to cap it all Hazel was out of fuel. Tomorrow the pigs are all on Instant Energy horse food (not sure what effect it will have, something from wind to psychosis continuum) as a tide them over while the deficits in fetch pig feed plan are resolved and executed.
Day 13 30 30 lvl 14 outdoor training 13km (Ok computer, Radiohead)